Set The Night On Fire
A magisterial, kaleidoscopic, riveting history of Los Angeles in the SixtiesHistories of the US Sixties invariably focus on New York City, but Los Angeles was an epicenter of that decade's political and social earthquake. LA was a launchpad for Black Power--where Malcolm X and Angela Davis first came to prominence and the Watts uprising shook the nation--and home to the Chicano walkouts and Moratorium, as well as birthplace of "Asian America" as a political identity, base of the antiwar movement, and of course, center of California counterculture.Mike Davis and Jon Wiener provide the first comprehensive history of LA in the Sixties, drawing on extensive archival research, scores of interviews with principal figures of the 1960s movements, and personal histories (both Davis and Wiener are native Los Angelenos). Following on from Davis's award-winning LA history, City of Quartz, and picking up where the celebrated California historian Kevin Starr left off (his eight-volume history of California ends in 1963), Set the Night on Fire is a fascinating historical corrective, delivered in scintillating and fiercely elegant prose.

Set The Night On Fire Details

TitleSet The Night On Fire
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 14th, 2020
PublisherVerso Books
ISBN-139780805075700
Rating
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Race, Politics

Set The Night On Fire Review

  • Ravi
    January 1, 1970
    This is a magisterial history of Los Angeles in the 1960s. From the Black Panthers and Chicano liberation movement to the gay rights movement and feminism, Davis and Weiner provide a tremendous amount of information that takes the reader deep into a world that has passed. As the pandemic crisis upends the global economy, the relevance for building social movements is more salient than ever. The book is ultimately a descriptive history, closely hewing to the detailed portraits it paints. There is This is a magisterial history of Los Angeles in the 1960s. From the Black Panthers and Chicano liberation movement to the gay rights movement and feminism, Davis and Weiner provide a tremendous amount of information that takes the reader deep into a world that has passed. As the pandemic crisis upends the global economy, the relevance for building social movements is more salient than ever. The book is ultimately a descriptive history, closely hewing to the detailed portraits it paints. There is relatively little analysis or reflection from the authors on assessing the strategic choices of actors which obviously mostly failed. Surprisingly the authors who of course are extremely well read (Davis is renowned for his contributions) focus overwhelmingly on social movement history. This was clearly a deliberate choice and the result is impressive. But I found it a bit strange that there is very little attention paid to the left organizations of the time such as the SWP or smaller ones. I perhaps dogmatically thought a book about California in the 1960s might mention Hal Draper, a legendary Bay Area activist, but I do appreciate the commitment to a constricted geographic scope. These are quibbles. This is a must read book.
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